God of War 4 Not Open World but Not Linear Either – Exploration Is Fun

Making God of War 4 without Check List Questing 

One of Sony’s heavy-hitters, God of War 4, came with a greater showcase at this year’s E3. We know a little bit more about the story’s themes and general direction. Kratos is back, this time as a dad, and bringing his unique set of skills to the world of Norse gods. And despite how vast and stunning this new world looks, Game Director Cory Barlog has already said it won’t be open world.

E3 2017 Crowd Reactions PS4 Exclusive Title God of War God of War

Even so, God of War 4 will still be huge and offer rewarding exploration. The footage from E3 2017 showcased a few environments, but there’s a lot more to behold. Barlog described it in an interview with Polygon.

“I knew right away that I did not want to make an open-world game. I did not want to make a game in which people felt like they were doing a checklist of things.

Kratos and Atreus have a goal that takes them all over the world, but always just off in the distance, there’s something that catches your eye. It’s this idea that we’re going to reward people for being curious or looking around. We’re not really ever going to put them in a position outside of that core experience, forcing them to do something.”

As we’ve seen in previous God of War 4 footage, Kratos’ son Atreus even expands the gameplay options with a bit of improvisation on his part. We’ve seen Kratos carry Atreus on his back and Atreus even dispatching enemies. In terms of exploration, devs have probably implemented game mechanics that make him useful in exploration.

“It’s the idea of seeing this little cave entrance off in the distance, continued Barlog. “boating over there, and actually going inside the cave, and coming out and seeing an entire level you never knew was there. It’s that feeling of being rewarded for your curiosity. It’s just huge. That’s why I play video games. It’s about existing in a world.”

“We guide you in the game on this path, like holding your kid when he’s riding a bike for the first time. Then we sort of open the world up by letting go with one hand. The world is a little bit bigger, a little scarier, you’re wobbling a little bit. But right when you start to feel steady, then we open up the world even more, both hands off. You’re just free to go. And that’s still not even the last time. We open it up even further, so everything becomes bigger. You’re never required to go over and do anything. You’re always encouraged that this is your goal. But, hey, if you want, go explore all these other things. It’s such a vast mythology. It’s so wonderful.”

God of War 4 will be arriving in early 2018. The Game’s E3 footage was captured on a standard PS4. While it is not open world, are you satisfied by the inclusion of exploration? Let us know in the comments below.